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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Marine Corps COOL links to credentialing opportunities

By Heather J. Hagan | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | October 23, 2014


Marine Corps Credentialing Opportunity On-line is the newest awareness and information resource capability that assists active and Reserve Marines in learning about certifications and licenses related to their military occupational specialties.

Marine Corps COOL, launched three weeks ago, translates Marine Corps knowledge and training into civilian credentialing opportunities and links to education resources, transition readiness and general career and professional development (such as the United Service Military Apprenticeship Program). 

The United Service Military Apprenticeship Program provides a tool to document skills acquired while on active duty in the Marine Corps, which lead to civilian recognitions and journeyman status in a trade or skill.

In addition, it positively impacts readiness by providing an opportunity to improve personal and professional performance and encourage continuing educational advancement for Marines whose abilities and interests are in trade skills.

Marine Corps COOL was developed in coordination with the Department of the Navy’s credentialing efforts and explains how Marines can meet civilian certification and license requirements.

“Credentials are a particularly important consideration for Marines transitioning from active service because they are recognized and valued indicators that our Marines have the knowledge and skills civilian employers need,” Col. Lee Ackiss, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Marine and Family Programs Division, said.  

COOL is a Web-based resource for:

* Marines who want to know what civilian credentials relate to their MOSs and how to obtain them;

* Marines who want to distinguish themselves through growth in their occupational fields or enhance their transition readiness;

* Education, Career and Transition advisers providing guidance on education, personal and professional development, and career requirements and opportunities;

* Marine Corps recruiters who want to show potential recruits the opportunities for professional growth and civilian career preparation available through military service; and

* Employers and credentialing boards interested in how military training and experience prepares Marines for civilian credentials and jobs.

Most certifications and licenses have fees associated with them that are charged by the credentialing board or agency.

The most common are application fees, exam fees and renewal fees. 

Eligible Marines can use the Montgomery GI Bill to pay for testing fees for approved civilian occupational licensing and certification exams.  Marines with questions about this credentialing information resource capability should consult their installation education service officers or contact the Marine Corps COOL Program through the website, www.cool.navy.mil/usmc. 

As of Oct. 1, as written in Section 542 of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, an online credentialing opportunities capability now exists for each of the armed services. 

The Marine Corps and the Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-line have a unique shared entry portal in the Department of the Navy’s COOL.  While perspectives and approaches may vary with service cultures, the translation of military knowledge and training into credentialing opportunities in support of Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen is a shared and ongoing all services commitment. 

Marine Corps COOL is an embodiment of the Marine Corps’ continuing dedication to serve Marines well on active duty and as future veteran Marines pursuing civilian careers in the “return of quality citizens to our communities.”     

For more information, access the Marine Corps Administrative Message 518/14 titled Announcement of Marine Corps Credentialing Opportunities Online.